Munster secured their home quarter final berth in the Champions Cup on Saturday with a hard fought 22-10 victory over Racing 92 at Thomond Park, with CJ Stander delivering yet another Man of the Match performance.
Having already been assured of their last eight place in Europe’s premier club rugby tournament, the victory over Racing ensured that ‘fortress’ Thomond would be the host of Munster’s next European adventure.
While it is was a tougher than expected contest with the Paris based side, one result that was all too familiar was the naming CJ Stander as Man of the Match.
Winning his umpteenth such award, the South African born Ireland international once again highlighted just how far he has come from the days back home when he was told he was simply too small to be a Springbok.
Since moving north to Munster, the 26-year-old has proven that not only is he good enough, he is in fact one of the world’s top number 8’s and flankers in the game today.
As rugby fans laud yet another incredible barnstorming performance, perhaps the most impressive footage of the Munster man came from the warm up prior to the game.
Taken by a fan in the stands, Stander can be seen being worked out by former Munster hooker turned coach Jerry Flannery and what transpires is quite simply an awesome show of strength and force.
Check it out.
— Ruggabugga (@SUAFruggabugga) January 21, 2017
From the footage, which shows Flannery being dragged across the pitch like a child, it clear that Munster have unearthed an absolute monster of a man, someone that given his current form must be a certain British and Irish Lions pick for the summer tour of New Zealand.
The man from George, South Africa has come a very long way. Too small for the Boks, Stander has become one of the biggest names in world rugby today.
Finding a home in Limerick and adored by all, CJ Stander has become an Irishman. Next month at the Six Nations, we unleash him on the neighbours.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
In this week’s edition of The Oval Office Podcast, we speak to the Pro12 Communications Director Adam Redmond, who outlines how the league will evolve in the coming seasons.